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Last night the Spokane Valley City Council selected a new planning commissioner - land surveyor Michael Phillips. He was one of two people to apply for the vacant seat. The vote was nearly unanimous, so City Manager Mike Jackson didn't have to get out another coin to decide the issue. There were be more details on the selection in Thursday's Valley Voice.
Also in Thursday's Valley Voice, reporter Lisa Leinberger will have a report on last night's extremely lengthy East Valley School District meeting to discuss the future of K-8 schools. Lisa said the room was packed with parents, some of whom were quite emotional.
This is just a reminder that the Spokane Valley Planning Commission is having a public hearing tonight on a draft public access plan for the Spokane River. The plan is part of the city's state-mandated update of its Shoreline Master Program. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave.
West Valley senior Corbin Smith, left, tapes the wrist of sophomore cheerleader Kensley Seacrest under the watchful eye of sports medicine instructor Keith Eggleston at West Valley High School on Tuesday. SR photo Jesse Tinsley
Good Monday morning, everyone. I hope everyone had a nice, restful holiday. I wonder how many people are having turkey sandwiches for lunch today? Anyway, on to some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on the sports medicine program at the new Spokane Valley Tech. It joins other new programs for high school students that include aerospace and advanced manufacturing.
Spokane Valley city councilman Ben Wick is nearly fninished with his first year on the city council. He talks about his role on the council and how that fits in with his work and personal life. We also have some details on who has applied for open positions on the city's planning commission and Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.
Correspondent Steve Christilaw has a story on the coming basketball season at Central Valley High School and Freeman High School.
Daisy Hanson and Kelsie Brulotte splash around in the Millwood wading pool Thursday. Community donations made it possible for the pool to reopen after being closed last year. SR photo/Dan Pelle
Sorry I wasn't on the blog Friday. I snuck out for a day off before the high temperatures made me feel like a chicken roasting in the oven. While it's still relatively cool this morning I've got some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger checked in at the popular Millwood wading pool. The city planned to close and destroy the pool, but residents objected and then took it a step further by raising the $10,000 needed to repair the pool. Now kids are again happily splashing away.
The Spokane Valley City Council appointed former planning commissioner Fred Beaulac back to a vacant position on the commission. He will serve out the term of Marcia Sands, who recently resigned. The council also heard a report on a development agreement negotiated with the owner of land on Conklin Road. They previously voted to allow the land to be rezoned as high density residential only if an agreement was reached to increase setbacks and limit density.
Correspondent Steve Christilaw spoke to University High School football coach Rob Bartlett, who is continuing a family tradition of coaching. He now holds the same job as his father did.
Yes, it is Fourth of July eve, but Spokane Valley is going ahead with their regularly scheduled council meeting tonight at 6 p.m. and there are a few interesting items on the agenda. The council is set to vote on appointing a new planning commissioner to fill the seat of Marcia Sands, who resigned. There are three candidates and there are some familiar names in the bunch. Teacher Robert McCaslin is the son of the late Bob McCaslin, who was a senator and city council members. Fred Beaulac served on the planning commission previously from 2003 to 2008. The other candidate, Kevin Anderson, is a retired manufacturing manager.
A development agreement on land on Conklin just south of Broadway has apparently been negotiated with lighting speed; a proposed agreement will be discussed tonight. The council voted previously to require the agreement as a condition to rezoning the land high density residential.
The council will also discuss a proposed agreement with Spokane County to fix 48th Avenue in the Ponderosa neighborhood. The road was repaved after a county sewer project years ago and hasn't drained properly since.
Joseph Yacker opens the front door of the new Spokane Valley Fire administration building Monday, to show the prominent display of a beam from the World Trade Center in the entryway. Yacker works with information systems in the building. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley
Today's Valley Voice is pretty packed with news, so you might need two cups of coffee to get through it all. The Spokane Valley Fire Department opened a new administration building for business this week. The new building, located next to Station 8, is designed to be an essential services building in a disaster. This is the same building where a piece of beam from the World Trade Center was installed during construction.
Reporter Lisa Leinberger talked to Mary Collins of Spokane Valley High School, who was recently named the 2012 Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year. The Spokane Valley City Council had a long discussion Tuesday on the merits of the regional animal shelter plan proposed by Spokane County and how much it would cost the city.
The Spokane Valley Planning Commission met last week for a public hearing on the draft goals and policies of the Shoreline Master Program update. The plan, which regulates development on shorelines, is undergoing a state mandated update. There was a bit of controversy during the meeting regarding the recusal of commissioner Marcia Sands. Sands works for the Department of Ecology, which approves all shoreline plans. Four commissioners voted not to excuse Sands, who now says she is debating whether to step down from her seat on the commission.
There is a Spokane Valley Planning Commission public hearing tonight on the draft goals and policies of the city's Shoreline Master Program. The plan regulates development on all shorelines within 200 feet of the ordinary high water mark. The state is requiring that all cities and counties update their plan by the end of 2013. The shoreline plan currently in use by the city was inherited from Spokane County when the city incorporated. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. tonight at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.
Joel Elgee, left, and paramedic Nick Muzik look at baby Leona, who was delivered with Muzik’s help in Liberty Lake Jan. 25. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley
There are some good stories in today's Valley Voice to go with your morning coffee. The feel good story of the day is about the successful birth of a healthy baby girl who was helped into the world by a Spokane Valley Fire Department crew and an AMR abulance crew. This baby wasn't waiting around and firefighters delivered the baby in only a few minutes. The family recently stopped by Station 3 in Liberty Lake to express their gratitude.
Spokane Valley's Public Works Director Neil Kersten takes a trip to Honduras every year to help build schools. He's on the board of directors of the non-profit that does the work, Schools for the Children of the World. The Spokane Valley City Council voted Tuesday to exempt Spokane Valley businesses from a new state law that limited alcohol signs in windows. Two council members voted against the exemption after several citizens testified against it.
The city planning commission met recently and gave their vote of approval to rezoning property west of Conklin and a little south of Broadway to high density residential. Scores of neighbors testified against allowing apartment buildings on land surrounded by single family homes. The planning commission did recommend that the city negotiate a development agreement with the property owner that would provide larger setbacks and restrictions on height and density on some areas of the property. It will be up to the city council to make the final decision.
Reporter Lisa Leinberger spoke to a Spokesman-Review carrier who spotted and put out an early morning fire at the Brass Rail Tavern in Rosalia recently. The property owners are grateful for his help and have promised him a steak dinner.
If you were thinking for applying for vacant seats on the Spokane Valley Planning Commission or the city's Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, time is running out. The deadline is Monday for all four vacancies (two on each). None of the positions are paid.
The Planning Commission is in charge of holding public hearings on planning and zoning items and making recommendations to the City Council. The two seats there are both for three year terms that would start Jan. 1. Applicants must live inside the city limits.
The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the City Council on how the lodging tax funds should be distributed. The money is collected to benefit tourism. The two open seats are both for people involved in activities authorized to receive funding for the tax.
Both applications are available on the city's web site or at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague. Call (509) 720-5102 for more information.
It's time to take a look at the stories we've got coming for you in Thursday's Valley Voice. There was a public hearing before the Spokane Valley City Council this week on a proposed developers agreement between the city and St. John Vianney Church, which has applied to rezone a piece of property to the south of the church so Catholic Charities can build a low income senior housing complex. Plenty of people spoke against the agreement, but several also spoke in favor of it.
Reporter Lisa Leinberger recently visited with some happy dogs out at the Patricia Simonet Laughing Dog Park at Stateline. The Liberty Lake Police Department recently had a good week, clearing up several related crimes by recommending various criminal charges against five teenagers. They also dealt with a wayward gardner who wanted potting soil for his pots and decided to take some from a construction site.
There will also be a report from last week's public hearing before the Planning Commission on the city's proposed Bike and Pedestrian Master Program. People were overwhelmingly in favor of it and it received a unanimous nod of approval from the commission.
If you regularly walk or pedal around Spokane Valley, you might want to check out Thursday night's City of Spokane Valley Planning Commission meeting. On the agenda is the city's draft bike and pedestrian master plan. The plan includes a map and list of recommended improvements, including paths and bike lanes. The plan has gotten a fair amount of attention from local bicycling groups, so there may be a bit of a crowd at the meeting. After the Planning Commission makes a recomendation on whether to accept or reject the plan it will go before the City Council for a final decision. Thursday's meeting begins at 6 p.m. in City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.
This week reporter Lisa Leinberger headed out to Mountain View Middle School to see how everyone there is reacting to the news that the school will be closed at the end of the school year. Her story on that will be in Saturday's Valley Voice, along with a trio of stories out of the Spokane Valley City Hall. I'll have a look at the planning commission candidates, a story on the two candidates for the open city council seat and a story on another city staffer who is leaving.
We'll also have a short story on new trash pickup days for Waste Management customers in Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Otis Orchards and Millwood. The new days start the week of May 16.
I'm back at the keyboard after a long day spent with the Spokane Valley City Council in various meetings yesterday. You'll see my story on the regular city council meeting in Thursday's Valley Voice and the story on the council retreat will be in on Saturday.
For those of you that haven't checked the paper yet, some people in Central Valley are unhappy today after yesterday's bond election failed. Several reporters, including the Valley's own Lisa Leinberger, collaborated on a story in today's paper on the various bond and levy elections.
Now then, on to business. The Spokane Valley Planning Comission is meeting tomorrow night at 6 p.m. in City Hall (11707 E. Sprague) and the agenda is packed with items that may draw some interest. There will be more discussion on adult retail entertainment plus a public hearing on possible changes to the city code regarding the keeping of chickens. There will also be a study session on the annual Comprehensive Plan amendments. The comp plan can only be amended once a year and this year the entire Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan is up for elimination.
The Spokane Valley Planning Commission will host its first meeting with two new comissioners at 6 p.m. tonight at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague. Only one item is on the agenda: a public hearing on a proposed code text amendment to tweak the definition of adult entertainment retail businesses. You can find the current meeting agenda and attached documents on the city's web site here.
Six-year old Shain Cothren of Suncrest holds a homing pigeon Sunday that will fly to the North Pole to deliver his Christmas wish list (attached to the right leg) to Santa Claus. He asked for a monster house and a Transformer. SR photo/Bart Rayniak
We’ve got a busy Valley Voice today, so grab a cup of coffee and get settled in. A new Christmas tree lot at Pines and Mansfield is offering a unique perk. Kids can send their letters to Santa at the North Pole via homing pigeon, which has apparently been a big hit. Readers following the exploits of “Chicken” can read an update by correspondent Stefanie Pettit on how well the bird is settling into her new home.
This week the Spokane Valley city council voted by a slim majority to name Bill Bates, the half-brother of the mayor, to the city’s planning commission despite protests from some council members that it appears to be a conflict of interest. Things are looking a little less dire in Liberty Lake than they were last week. The city council there held a special budget meeting this week and voted on how to allocate an extra $140,000 in income to alleviate cuts previously proposed.
Liberty Lake police have made arrests in a long string of garage burglaries and vehicle prowls. They’ve also had a break in multiple thefts of flat screen televisions from RV’s. The Spokane Valley Planning Commission met to discussed a proposed emergency ordinance to remove the City Center zone from the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan. The majority voted to recommend that the city council reject the amendment, but it doesn’t end there. The issue will be considered by the council at the Jan. 4 meeting.
Tools of the trade: Liberty Lake police believe these items were used to commit numerous garage burglaries and car prowls in Liberty Lake in recent weeks. Photo is courtesy the Liberty Lake Police Department.
It has been an interesting week or so in Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake and the stories coming up in Thursday’s Valley Voice will have the highlights. Liberty Lake Police believe they have arrested a couple who are responsible for a series of garage burglaries and vehicle prowls in recent weeks. Both have extensive criminal histories and the male was arrested in Liberty Lake for similar crimes in 2006.
The Liberty Lake City Council held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the 2011 budget, which has been the subject of some controversy. The Spokane Valley City Council voted by a narrow majority in a contentious meeting to appoint the mayor’s half-brother to the planning commission.
Last week the Spokane Valley Planning Commission met and the majority voted to recommend that the city council reject a proposed emergency comprehensive plan amendment to remove the City Center zone from the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan. Some of the commissioners, however, said they believed the city council would ignore their recommendation.
If so much city government conflict has you reaching for your Tylenol, there will also be a fun story on a new Christmas tree lot that allows kids to write a letter to Santa and sends it to the North Pole via homing pigeon.
Spokane Valley Deputy Mayor Gary Schimmels is recommending that Bill Bates, mayor Tom Towey’s half-brother, be appointed to one of the two vacant seats on the planning commission. Bates retired from Rosauer’s as vice president of retail operations for 26 stores. Schimmels is recommending that the second seat go to Joseph Stoy, a design manager at Baker Construction and Development. The full city council is scheduled to vote on Schimmels’ recommendation during the Dec. 14 council meeting.
In interviews this week both Towey and Bates said they did not think it would be a conflict of interest if Bates is selected for the unpaid position.
For 22 years, Santa has stood proudly in the parking lot at the White Elephant store on East Sprague Avenue in the Spokane Valley waving at passerby. The 13-foot tall statue once graced the windows of The Crescent department store in downtown Spokane. SR photo/Bart Rayniak.
There is a lot of Valley news to read today in the paper, so here’s the lineup. Budget discussions in Liberty Lake have been so contentious that a council member walked out of this week’s council meeting in frustration. One of the candidates for two vacant Spokane Valley Planning Commission seats is the half-brother of Mayor Tom Towey, but neither think his involvement is a conflict of interest. The mayor has recused himself from the appointment process, which will be handled by Deputy Mayor Gary Schimmels.
Students at Otis Orchards Elementary are being exposed to art, theater, sports and martial arts thanks to a new after school program known as the Orchard Project. Correspondent Stefanie Pettit has a regular Landmarks feature that examines various local historic and iconic sites. This week she writes about the Santa at the White Elephant store that used to be on display at The Crescent department store.
In other Spokane Valley news, a Montana fugitive was arrested by police late Tuesday night. He led police on a chase before hitting a snow berm.
The Spokane Valley Planning Commission meeting Thursday will include a public hearing on an emergency comprehensive plan amendment to remove the City Center zone of the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan and replaced it with mixed use zoning. There will also be a study session on a proposed code text amendment on the definition of adult retail. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.
Applications for the two vacancies on the city of Spokane Valley’s Planning Commission are due by 4 p.m. today, so if it’s something you have considered, now is the time. The commissioners make recommendations to the city council on zoning, municipal code and environmental issues. Those selected will serve a three year term.
Applicants must live within the Spokane Valley city limits. Experience in land use, planning, transportation or capital infrastructure is a plus. Commissioners are considered volunteers and are not paid.
Applications are available on the city’s web site and at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague. Call 720-5102 for more information.